Sole proprietor JJ Ruch told XBIZ that four FBI agents Friday morning arrived at his two-story Bethlehem house, where he also operates his business.
“They arrived in a big black SUV with government license plates, got out of the car and knocked at the door,” Ruch said. “Once I opened the door, they moved forward inside and said, ‘We’ll do the search ourselves.'”
Agents searched his home office, as well as other parts of his home including closets and kitchen cupboards and a basement, for nearly four and one-half hours. Ruch said that they even looked through his video camera viewfinder in their search for images of underage models.
“They took photos of all of the model releases and also imputed data into a small electronic device,” said Ruch, who noted that he has had 136 models working for his company in its 1-year existence.
Ruch, who started Sebastian Sloane Productions last year in San Diego, Calif., and later moved his operation to Bethlehem, has produced eight videos, with an additional 28 in the editing phase. His company, which films bareback and safe-sex scenes, also distributes content on 124 sites.
The investigation of Sebastian Sloane Productions is the second in a week over 18 U.S.C. §2257, the federal code relative to porn models' ages and identities. The FBI visited the Chatsworth, Calif., office of Diabolic Video on Monday to check their records.
Diabolic reportedly passed its inspection, and Ruch said agents told him he passed their probe for tidy records and images of underage models as well.
“My model release form is quite lengthy — 18 pages, in fact,” Ruch said. “Before I started my business, I consulted with an attorney on what kind of release I should use.
“I’ve always kept the books in line just because of the possibilities of an investigation like this. The agents said they’ve compiled two years worth of research on the adult industry, using Whois and reviewing video-on-demand sites to see who's producing what.”
Ruch said agents told him that there are 16 four-member FBI teams nationwide that are searching adult producers and secondary producers.
“It is kind of intimidating when they’re four of them at your door,” he said. “They’re quite demanding, and they stood their ground.”